Arcade (1984), ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC 464, BBC Micro
The Commodore 64 reigned supreme in many households. Among the myriad of titles that graced this legendary system from the 80s, Mikey stood out as a testament to simple, yet captivating gameplay.
School Days and Shenanigans in Mikey
Released in 1987 by Imagine, it was an arcade conversion originally made by Konami in 1984.
The game introduced players to a mischievous schoolboy called, you guessed it, Mikey who has to navigate the challenges of school life.
But this wasn’t any ordinary day at school; Mikey had to dodge and knock out teachers with basketballs, collect hearts, and make his way to his beloved in a series of engaging levels set in classrooms and the school halls.
The premise was straightforward, but therein lay the game’s charm. With its vibrant pixel art and catchy chiptune melodies, Mikey encapsulated the essence of 80s gaming.
Duck, Dodge, and Dash!
The gameplay in Mikey was a balanced blend of strategy and reflexes. Players had to plan their routes meticulously, avoiding patrolling teachers while ensuring they collected all the hearts in each classroom before the timer ran out. Does it still induce panic when a teacher is after you? We can confirm it does to this day!
The game has five main ‘rooms’ and the hallways connecting them to navigate. Once in a classroom, Mikey has to collect hearts that spell a word that will unlock the classroom allowing players to navigate to the next one whilst constantly avoiding teachers and hazards that are thrown your way.
Regarding the classrooms they range from your standard desks layout to locker rooms and even an aerobics class! You’ll be chased by janitors, cooks, the schools American football team and of course a dowdy old bespectacled teacher who can launch a set of false teeth at you.
Each level added new obstacles and challenges, from tricky layouts to faster-moving adversaries, ensuring that players were always on their toes until Mikey finally beats the game in the playground and hooks up with his girl.
Visually, Mikey was pretty impressive for its time. The Commodore 64’s limited colour palette was used to its full potential, creating vibrant classrooms filled with detail. Mikey’s animated sprite, complete with moving hair on his head was different to the arcade version where he sported a baseball cap but still conveyed the fast paced movement as good as can be for its time.
No lookback of Mikey would be complete without mentioning its soundtrack. The game’s tunes, were incredibly catchy. The rhythmic beats that played as Mikey dashed around were enough to get any player’s foot tapping and there’s definitely something familiar with the main soundtrack as its features ‘A hard days night’ by the Beatles in it.
Does Mikey hold up in today’s world of high-definition graphics and expansive open-world games? In terms of fun sure but in regards to how it looks that of course is subjective.
Mikey when you look at it is a snapshot of a bygone era, a time when gameplay was king, and graphics were secondary, although great for the time. It’s a nostalgic reminder of the joys of chasing high scores, and the satisfaction of beating a particularly challenging level. Simple times for sure but good ones nonetheless.
For fans of retro gaming, or those looking to experience the magic of the Commodore 64, Mikey is a must-play. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of classic games, proving that sometimes as the cliché goes, less is more.
Chances are you’re reading this and don’t have a Commodore 64 anymore, you might want to check out this video that shows the game in all its glorious 8-bit wonder you won’t regret it at all.
Mikey C64 Review: Skipping School Looked Super Cool
Is it worth playing again?
If you're of a certain age and want a blast from the past then Mikey will give you a challenging and fun does of nostalgia!
Reader Rating1 Vote
Colourful and vibrant graphics
Soundtrack is literally rocking
Can be frustrating in places
It's a short game
Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.